Luggage Limit: London Travel

how many lbs per day when traveling to london

London is an expensive city to visit, with food, accommodation, and sightseeing all contributing to a high daily spend. On average, tourists spend around £135 a day while in the United Kingdom, but this can vary depending on your travel style and budget.

For budget travellers, it is estimated that you will need between £60-£95 per day. This includes £20 for attractions, £4 for a treat, £33 for a hostel, £6 for lunch, £10 for dinner, and £2.30 for transportation.

For a more mid-range trip, it is recommended to budget around £945 for a week, £1890 for two weeks, and £3780 for a month. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

London has a plethora of free attractions, such as museums and parks, so it is possible to visit the city on a budget. However, other attractions, such as the Tower of London and the London Eye, can be expensive.

In terms of food, a budget meal at a pub or cafe will cost around £12-£16, while a mid-range meal at a decent restaurant will be closer to £30-£35. Drinks are also pricey, with a pint of beer costing between £3.20-£6, and a glass of wine starting at £4.

Transportation costs can also add up, with single journeys on the London Underground costing around £2.50, and taxi rides being even more expensive.

So, while it is possible to visit London on a budget, be prepared for higher costs, especially if you want to indulge in some of the city's more luxurious offerings.

Characteristics Values
Daily budget for a couple in London £265
Average daily cost per person £105-£190
Average daily cost for budget travel £57-£92
Average daily cost for frugal travel £30-£60
Average daily budget for food £10-£44
Average daily budget for accommodation £75-£150
Average daily budget for entertainment £41
Average daily budget for alcohol £19
Average daily budget for transportation £5-£32

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Food and drink

London is known for its diverse and dynamic food scene, with a wide range of cuisines available to suit all budgets. The cost of food in London can vary, but with some careful planning, it is possible to eat well without breaking the bank. Here is a guide to help you navigate the food and drink options during your trip to London.

Breakfast

Breakfast is an important meal to start your day, and there are several options to choose from. If you are staying in a hotel, some properties may include breakfast in the room rate, which can be a convenient and cost-effective option. Alternatively, you can opt to have breakfast at your Airbnb or prepare something simple like cereal, bread, or pastries purchased from a local bakery or grocery store. A traditional English breakfast from a café will typically cost between £6 and £9. For a quick and affordable option, consider a budget-friendly chain like Wetherspoons, or grab a meal deal from Boots, which includes a sandwich, crisps, and a drink for around £5.

Lunch

For lunch, it is recommended to explore the city's diverse street food options or opt for takeaway meals. Street markets such as Borough Market, Brick Lane, and KERB Camden offer a variety of cuisines, with meals typically ranging from £5 to £10. Takeaway meals like kebabs with fries or similar dishes from a takeaway shop will cost around £7 to £9. If you're looking for something quick and easy, supermarkets like Sainsbury's, Co-Op, or Tesco offer meal deals that include a sandwich, crisps or popcorn, and a drink for around £5.

Dinner

When it comes to dinner, London offers a range of options to suit different budgets. For budget-friendly choices, seek out the city's ethnic restaurants, where you can find delicious meals for around £12 to £18. Fish and chips, a classic British dish, can be enjoyed at a quality fish and chip shop for around £8 to £12 for takeaway or a bit more to dine in. If you're looking for a simple yet filling meal, local pubs and non-touristy restaurants offer meals for about £10 to £18. Fast-food options like McDonald's are also available, with a combo meal costing around £7.

Drinks

London's nightlife and pub culture are famous, but drinks can be expensive. A pint of lager will typically cost £5 or more, and cocktails are even pricier, ranging from £12 to £15 or more in trendy bars. To save money, consider purchasing drinks from supermarkets or liquor stores, where a bottle of beer will cost around £1.50 to £2 and a decent bottle of wine will set you back £10 to £15.

Tips for Saving Money on Food and Drink

  • Eat out once a day and cook the rest of your meals at your accommodation or opt for budget-friendly options like meal deals and street food.
  • Take advantage of free breakfasts offered by some hotels or Airbnb stays.
  • Buy food from supermarkets and dine out less often.
  • Eat at food markets or in areas with ethnic restaurants, such as Chinatown or Brick Lane, for more affordable and authentic experiences.
  • Look for special offers and discounts at restaurants, such as 2-for-1 deals.
  • Avoid eating at tourist traps near major attractions, as these tend to be more expensive.

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Transport

London has a variety of transport options for travellers, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Here is a detailed guide to help you navigate the transport system in London:

The London Underground (Tube):

The London Underground, also known as the "Tube", is a fast and efficient way to get around the city. It has a colour-coded line system that is easy to navigate, with clear indications of transfer points. During peak hours and summer, the Tube can get extremely hot and crowded. A single journey costs £2.40, and it is recommended to use an Oyster Card or a contactless payment card to save money and for convenience.

Buses:

Taking the bus in London is a cheaper alternative to the Tube, costing only £1.40 per journey. It allows you to see the city while travelling and is a good option if you want to avoid the crowded Tube during peak hours. However, it may take longer to reach your destination compared to the Tube.

Double-decker Buses:

Riding on a double-decker bus is a quintessential London experience. These iconic red buses offer great views of the city and are a fun way to get around. Like regular buses, they cost £1.40 per journey.

Taxis:

London's famous black cabs are a convenient but expensive way to get around the city. If you need to get somewhere quickly and directly, a black cab may be a good option, but be prepared for a higher cost.

Uber:

Uber is a more affordable alternative to traditional taxis in London. It is especially cost-effective if you share your ride with others or use the UberPool option. For a trip across London, Uber will only cost you a few pounds.

Santander Cycles:

The Santander Cycles scheme offers a unique way to explore London. For a fixed price of £2 per 24 hours, you can rent a bike from one of the many stations around the city. The first 30 minutes of each journey are free, after which additional charges apply.

Walking:

Walking is a great way to explore London at your own pace and discover hidden gems. It is also a budget-friendly option, as it doesn't incur any transport costs. However, keep in mind that some destinations may be far apart, so plan your route accordingly.

Apps:

To navigate London's transport system effectively, consider using apps like Citymapper and Tube Map London Underground. These apps provide real-time travel advice and can help you find the best routes to your destination.

When planning your trip to London, it is essential to consider your transport options and choose the ones that best suit your needs and budget. By utilising a combination of these transport methods, you can efficiently get around the city and make the most of your time in London.

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Accommodation

London is known for being a costly city, so it's important to plan your budget for accommodation in advance. The price of your accommodation will depend on the type of lodging you choose, the location, and the time of year.

Hotels

Hotels in London can range from budget-friendly options to luxurious 5-star hotels. Here are some estimates for hotel prices in London:

  • Budget hotels: £70-£150 per night
  • Well-rated budget hotels: £130-£145 per night
  • 3-star hotels: from £150 per night
  • 4-star hotels: £90-£150 per night
  • 5-star hotels: £277 and above per night

Hostels

Hostels are a more affordable option, with prices ranging from £23 to £47 per night for a bed in a shared dorm room. Private rooms in hostels can cost around £110-£160 per night.

Apartments

Apartment rentals can be a good choice for larger groups or those seeking more space and a kitchen. Prices for rental apartments in London typically range from £90 to £170 per night.

Booking Tips

It's recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons like summer and Christmas. Staying in Central London (Zone 1) can save you money on transportation, as many attractions are within walking distance.

Specific Recommendations

  • The Resident Covent Garden: Charming hotel with efficient, well-equipped mini-kitchens. Prime location near shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
  • Travelodge London Central Kings Cross: Clean, comfortable rooms at a budget-friendly price. Great location for intracity travel.
  • Wilde Aparthotels, London, Paddington: Prime location near Tube stations and Heathrow Express. Modern apartment hotel with small, well-equipped kitchens.
  • The Clermont, Victoria: Historic hotel near Buckingham Palace with luxurious amenities and spacious rooms. Central location close to Victoria Station and attractions.

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Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment, London has something for everyone. The city is known for its thriving nightlife and pub culture, so no visit to London is complete without sampling a pint at a cosy pub. A pint of beer in Central London will set you back around £5-6, and cocktails are considerably more expensive, ranging from £12-15 per drink. If you're looking to save money, consider purchasing alcohol from a supermarket or liquor store, where a bottle of beer will cost around £1.50-2 and a bottle of wine will be approximately £10-15.

London also boasts a diverse array of restaurants, with cuisine from all over the world. While London is home to some of the greatest restaurants globally, these can be expensive. A main dish at a mid-range restaurant will typically cost £12-15, with a starter adding another £8-10. Higher-end restaurants will be about 10-20% more expensive. If you're visiting London on a budget, consider cooking your own meals or opting for street food, which can be found at popular markets like Borough Market, Brick Lane, and Broadway Market.

For those interested in the arts, London has a thriving theatre scene. West End tickets can be pricey, but there are ways to save money. Sitting in the nosebleed section or entering a ticket lottery can offer more affordable options, with the cheapest tickets often costing around £30. Looking beyond the West End can also be a great way to save, as fantastic productions can be found throughout London, often at more reasonable prices.

London is also home to many free museums, including the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Science Museum. For those interested in paid attractions, such as Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, and the Tower of London, purchasing a London Go City Pass can help save on entry fees.

Overall, budgeting £10-20 per person per day for entertainment in London is a reasonable estimate.

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Attractions

London is a city with a diverse range of attractions, from museums and historical landmarks to markets and restaurants. Here is a guide to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in this vibrant city:

London is home to numerous world-class museums, many of which offer free entry. These include the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the National Gallery, and the Imperial War Museum. These museums provide a great opportunity to explore history, art, and science without breaking the bank.

For those interested in architecture and iconic landmarks, London has plenty to offer. The dome of St Paul's Cathedral, with its Whispering Gallery, offers stunning views of the city. A walk across the iconic Tower Bridge provides a unique perspective of the city, with tickets costing £9 for adults. The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, is where the House of Lords and the House of Commons meet. Nearby, Big Ben, one of London's most famous landmarks, resides.

The Tower of London, with tickets priced at £23-£25 for adults, offers a glimpse into the city's grim history. Here, you can explore the Crown Jewels, including diamonds, crowns, and tiaras. Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British monarchy, is a must-see. The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place in the forecourt each morning, and tickets for a tour of the palace range from £12.30 to £37 for adults.

Westminster Abbey, one of the oldest buildings in London, is another significant religious site. Admission tickets cost £20 for adults. The Shard, a recent addition to London's skyline, offers spectacular views from its viewing gallery, with pre-booked tickets costing £24.95 for adults.

London is also known for its vibrant markets, such as Borough Market near London Bridge, Brick Lane, Broadway Market, and KERB Camden. These markets offer a variety of culinary delights and shopping opportunities.

For theatre enthusiasts, London's West End offers a range of shows, with tickets starting at around £30 for the cheapest seats. Alternatively, look beyond the West End to theatres like the Hampstead Theatre, which offers £10 tickets for patrons under 30.

London also boasts beautiful parks, such as Hyde Park, Regent's Park, St. James Park, and Holland Park, providing peaceful escapes within the bustling city.

With so many attractions, planning your itinerary in advance can help save time and money. Booking tickets online for certain attractions may also offer discounts.

Frequently asked questions

This depends on the type of accommodation and location. A bed in a hostel can cost around £20 per day, while a single room in a modest hotel can range from £45 to £70 per day. A 3-star hotel in Zone 1 can cost around £150 per night.

Food costs in London can vary widely. Eating out at restaurants can cost around £10 per main course, with drinks and additional courses adding to the cost. A budget of £10 per day is feasible if you buy food from supermarkets. A more comfortable budget for eating out once a day would be around £20-£30 per day.

Transportation costs in London depend on the mode of travel and distance travelled. A single adult fare within Zone 1 costs around £2.50-£2.70. A tube ticket from Heathrow to central London is approximately £5.50. Walking between nearby attractions can help save on transportation costs.

London offers a range of free attractions, including parks and museums. Paid attractions can vary in cost, with the Tower of London costing around £30 and the London Eye at £32.50. A budget of £30 per major attraction is a reasonable estimate.

Entertainment costs in London depend on individual preferences. A pint of lager can cost £5 or more, while a cinema ticket is typically around £12. A budget of £15 per day for entertainment would be a conservative estimate.

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